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The Report of the Club degli Orafi Italia and Intesa Sanpaolo

Made in Italy is recovering in China and the USA, investment is being made in brands, and retail is being digitized. These are some of the main results emerging from the joint study just released

The Club degli Orafi Italia and the Intesa Sanpaolo Research Department have produced a joint report to share their respective knowledge of the sector, based on the experience of those who have been working in the sector for years, and on the information of a research center specialized in the quantitative analysis of a variety of sectors. 

These are the main elements that emerged from the study:

  • Italian gold sector data in 2020 reflect the strong impact of the pandemic
  • Signs of recovery of made in Italy jewelry sales in China and the USA, countries that will drive world growth in 2021, are emerging
  • The pandemic has made it even more important to invest in brands, communication and digitalization of distribution channels

Stefania Trenti, Head of Industry Research, Intesa Sanpaolo Studies and Research Department, comments as follows: «In 2020, the long phase of growth of the Italian gold sector, which had led in 2019 to reach levels 63% higher than in 2010, was interrupted. The sector has strongly suffered the impact of the pandemic. Uncertainty has led to a jump in the prices of precious metals and a collapse in world demand, which, together with containment measures (closure of plants in the spring lockdown, closure of the distribution phase in Italy and in many outlet countries, blocking of tourist flows) have led turnover to contract by 23.6%. Exports also collapsed (down 28.6%), but left the balance of the sector at positive and high levels (3.5 billion euros). The drop affected all outlet markets, with the exception of Ireland (+217.6%, the new luxury logistics hub) and South Africa (+69.3%). Also worthy of note are the signs of recovery that emerged in the latter part of the year on some markets, especially the United States, which once again became the main commercial outlet for Italian jewelry in 2020. Expectations, albeit in a still uncertain framework and conditioned by the evolution of the pandemic and vaccination campaigns, are oriented towards a recovery of world demand during 2021, with positive effects also on the Italian gold production fabric, put to the test in the last few difficult months.»

Giorgio Villa, President of the Club degli Orafi Italia, adds: «2020 was a very complex year for the entire sector in all stages of the value chain. The forced lockdown has meant that from extraction to production to retail there has been a strong slowdown in exports and an important contraction in domestic turnover. In recent months, however, we have seen very positive signs coming from the Chinese market, the first to return to pre-Covid levels, and which is looking to 2021 with great optimism. In the last quarter of 2020 we have also noticed positive trends on the American market and there are also signs of growth in the Middle East. As for the domestic market, the closures in 2020 had a strong impact, but already with the pre-Christmas openings we have seen recovery results. It denotes a big difference between branded and unbranded, both in the brand category and in the b2b business. Another point that made a difference was definitely digital. Those who already had an online distribution were more facilitated and were able to further strengthen the relationship with their customers. On the other hand, there were players who had to adapt quickly to these new distribution standards for our products. We are therefore cautiously optimistic and confident in the positive resilience of the sector. We have certainly been through an unprecedented crisis, but as a Club, we think and we will work to ensure that 2021 can really be a year of change of course, a return to normality and growth, albeit contained.»

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